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How Much Does a Scissor Lift Cost in 2024? (to Buy & to Rent)

A sleek electric scissor lift positioned on a construction site against a backdrop of scaffolding and building materials.
An electric scissor lift. Image via

Construction projects involve using heavy pieces of machinery and other pieces of equipment to help you work efficiently. A scissor lift is one such piece of equipment. If you plan on buying a scissor lift, you need to know how much it costs.

This article explains the different types of scissor lifts and their costs. We will also provide useful tips on choosing the best scissor lift for you at a cost that won’t hurt your budget. 

What are the Different Types of Scissor Lift?

A scissor lift is a mechanical lifting platform. It is also called an aerial lift. You can use it to help you gain temporary access to high or elevated areas. A scissor lift can help elevate both people and pieces of equipment. You can use it to lift your pole barn trusses. You can also use it to install pole barn lighting in the ceiling or clean the gutter of your pole barn roof

This device has linked folding supports arranged in a pattern like scissors, hence the name. When pressure is applied to the lowest set of supports, the rest of the folding supports stretch, allowing you to achieve your desired elevation. When the pressure is released, the folding supports retract to lower the platform. 

There are different types of scissor lifts:

  • Electric scissor lifts – This type of scissor lift doesn’t use fuel. Electric lifts use silent, electric-powered machines. An electric scissor lift is excellent for indoor use because it doesn’t emit fuel fumes or noise. 
  • Diesel scissor lifts – This type of scissor lift uses traditional diesel fuel. It is a loud machine that emits fuel fumes. Diesel scissor lifts are powerful enough to lift large platforms, making them ideal for working in large outdoor areas. 
  • Hydraulic scissor lifts – A hydraulic scissor lift uses either an electric motor or one that uses compressed air. You can use this machine for both indoor and outdoor jobs. You can use it to install your barndominium windows or to help you organize the tools and supplies in your shouse
  • Rough terrain scissor lifts – They are excellent for demanding construction jobs. A rough terrain scissor lift has a high lift capacity and a large working platform. It can easily handle the weight of several workers, plus their tools and equipment. This is a great choice if you have many workers working on your barndominium or pole barn home
  • Pneumatic scissor lifts – This type of scissor lift is air-powered. Since it doesn’t have electrical or hydraulic components, it is maintenance-free. Although pneumatic scissor lifts are often more expensive, you don’t need to pay for fuel or electricity to operate them, translating to long-term savings.

How Much Does a Scissor Lift Cost?

Let us take a closer look at the estimates for scissor lift prices. Remember that lift prices differ depending on the brand, vertical reach, and supplier. These prices should guide you on the price range you should be looking at. 



A Sinoboom 1932ME with 19 ft. of platform height, 25 ft. of working height, and a maximum weight capacity of 500 lbs costs $23,513


A 2013 2646ES with 26 ft. of platform height, a working height of 32 ft., and a maximum weight capacity of 1,000 lbs costs $19,482

A sleek electric scissor lift positioned on a construction site against a backdrop of scaffolding and building materials.
An electric scissor lift. Image via

Diesel or gasoline


A 2021 GMG 6094RT with a platform height of 40 ft., a working height of 46 ft., and a maximum weight capacity of 800 lbs costs $79,000


A 2007 Skyjack SJ8831RT with a working height of 37 ft. and a maximum weight capacity of 2,000 lbs costs $23,950. This machine has been used for 177.5 hours by the previous owner. 

A robust diesel-powered scissor lift standing tall on a construction site against a backdrop of cranes and scaffolding.
A diesel scissor lift. Image via

Rough terrain


A 2020 JLG 260MRT rough terrain scissor lift with a working height of 26 ft. and a maximum weight capacity of 1,250 lbs costs $39,000.


A 2008 SJ8850 RT with a platform height of 50 ft., a working height of 56 ft., and a maximum weight capacity of 800 lbs costs $40,339.

 A rugged rough terrain scissor lift situated amidst a challenging outdoor landscape. The scissor lift, designed for off-road use, showcases its durability and versatility.
A rough terrain scissor lift. Image via

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Scissor Lift Instead?

If you only need a scissor lift for a short time, renting can be a more cost-effective alternative to buying. The cost of renting a scissor lift varies depending on your location. If there are many rental companies in your area, the rates might be cheaper due to competition. 

Rental prices also depend on the size of the rental equipment. You also need to factor in how long you need the equipment. Short-term rentals are often more expensive than long-term rentals. 

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Expect to pay around $85 – $200 daily for a scissor lift rental. Weekly rates are around $350 – $600, while monthly rates can be between $600 and $1,500. Aside from the basic rental rates, expect to pay taxes for your rental. Some rental companies charge additional fees for delivering the lift to the renter, especially if the renter lives outside the rental company’s usual service area. 

Factors to Consider When Buying a Scissor Lift

Before buying either a used scissor lift or a brand-new one, there are some factors you need to consider. These factors can guide you when choosing a lift type that suits your needs. 

Vertical Reach

Vertical reach is one of the most critical considerations when buying a lift. This means that you need to determine the heights you want to reach with the help of your lift. If you have no idea how high you need your scissor lift to go, you might end up buying a lift without ample vertical reach. There is also the possibility of spending money on a lift with more vertical reach than you need. A regular scissor lift has a platform height of around 20 to 30 feet. 

Fuel or Power Source

A row of gas pumps sitting next to each other.
A row of gas pumps sitting next to each other. Image via

Fuel is another consideration when choosing a scissor lift. A scissor lift can be gasoline, propane, or diesel-powered. Some lifts also use electricity as a power source. Lifts that use conventional fuels, like gasoline and diesel, are more suitable for outdoor job sites due to their emissions. Electric lifts are preferred for indoor job sites because they don’t emit harmful fuel fumes. 

The availability of fuel sources is another consideration. If you live far from a gasoline station, an electric lift can be an excellent choice to ensure the continued use of your lift. 

Operating Conditions

A scissor lift aerial work platform is being used to access high windows
A scissor lift aerial work platform is being used to access high windows. Image via

Consider the terrain where you will use the lift. If you are working on a flat and even surface, any scissor lift will do. However, consider a four-wheel drive model if you are working on sloped or uneven ground. Most rough terrain lifts are four-wheel drives and have enough grip to help you safely navigate any terrain. 

Personnel Capacity and Load

Scissor lifts have personnel limits and weight capacities. These dictate how many people the lift can safely support. It also indicates the amount of weight you can put on a platform. The maximum weight of lifts varies. Some can handle two people and up to 750 lbs, while others can support up to six people and up to 1,500 lbs. 

Platform Size

Lifts have different platform sizes. A wide platform gives the user more room to maneuver, but repositioning can be challenging. A smaller platform can support fewer people but has more flexibility in maneuvering tight spaces, like the aisles of a warehouse. 

Ground Clearance

Just like cars, scissor lifts have ground clearance. Ground clearance is the distance between the lowest part of the lift and the ground. If you plan to use the lift in an area with much debris, like rocks, you need to ensure it has enough ground clearance to move it around unobtrusively. The ground clearance of a lift is not often listed, so be sure to ask the seller for this information.  


Silver and gold round coins in box photo. Image via

Cost is an important consideration when buying a scissor lift. Some lifts have specifications that exceed your specific needs. This can result in an expensive lift that you won’t properly utilize. For example, buying a rough terrain lift that can reach 30 feet would be an overkill if the ceiling on your pole barn is fifteen feet high. 


There are several accessories for scissor lifts. These accessories can make using your scissor lift safer and more efficient. When buying a scissor lift, inquire if it includes any accessories. While new scissor lifts might not have accessories included, sellers of used scissor lifts might include some accessories to sweeten the deal and entice more buyers. 

A mesh kit is an example of a scissor lift accessory. A mesh kit can keep the scissor lift platform enclosed to make it safer for your workers. You can also install flood lamps on your scissor lift. This can be of great help if you plan on using the scissor lift at night because it helps improve visibility for your workers. 

A tilt sensor is another useful accessory because it can help improve the safety of your machine. A lift sensor alerts the operator when the lift nears its maximum load capacity. This sensor can help prevent accidents caused by tilting due to overloading.  


JLG scissor lifts 1930es, at Duralift Access Hire in Melbourne Australia
JLG scissor lifts 1930es, at Duralift Access Hire in Melbourne Australia. Image via

The brand name or manufacturer of the lift you are buying can also affect its cost. Scissor lifts from established brands often cost more than brands that are not as well known. 

The location of the manufacturer can also affect prices. For example, JLG and Genie are USA-based companies, so their lifts are often cheaper than European-made lifts because they don’t have to pay export duties. 


Scissor lifts are important machines that can help you reach high places. They are versatile and can be used in construction sites, warehouses, and workshops. If you need to buy a lift, use our guide to get a competitively-priced one with all the features you need. Visit our Facebook page for other interesting articles about barndominium floor plans, shipping container garages, and pole barn garages


How do I determine the right size and capacity of a scissor lift for my project within my budget?

This is a tricky question because the answer depends on your unique requirements. Ask yourself how many workers you expect to use the lift simultaneously. We mentioned earlier that lifts have maximum weights, and you must stay within these figures as a safety precaution. If you know who will be using your lift, you can easily compute their combined weights. Remember to factor in the weight of their tools and equipment for more accurate computation. 

Are there significant price differences between electric, diesel, and hybrid scissor lifts?

Hybrid scissor lifts are slightly more expensive than electricity or diesel ones. However, there are advantages to using hybrid lifts. You can switch from one power source to another when using a hybrid. If you run out of diesel, you can switch to electricity. A hybrid scissor lift is also more versatile since you can safely use it in indoor and outdoor job sites. 

Between diesel and electric scissor lifts, diesel-powered ones tend to be more expensive because their engines are more powerful, giving them more lifting capabilities. 

Is it possible to finance a scissor lift?

Yes, it is possible to finance a scissor lift. Some financial institutions finance the purchase of machinery like lifts, bulldozers, and excavators. There are also equipment sellers that offer in-house financing services to buyers. 


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